Images of Enslavement and the Slave Trade

These images depict scenes from the trans-Atlantic slave trade. They illustrate the get, confinement, and inhumane conditions experienced by enslave african people as they were kidnapped by slave traders and forcibly transported to the Americas on the Middle Passage .

Pawnship

Indigenous African Slavery
“ Journey of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile ” by John Hanning Speke, New York 1869


The enslavement of autochthonal people in West Africa was known as pawnship. The commit of pawnship was a type of debt bondage in which an individual paid off a debt either through their own or a relative ‘s tug .
Unlike the trans-Atlantic slave trade, which kidnapped and enslave african people far from their homes and culture, those enslaved under pawnship remained in their own community. however, they were however restrained from escape .

“ A Slaver ‘s Canoe ”

A Slaver's Canoe
“ Boy Travelers on the Congo ” by Thomas W Knox, New York 1871
Captives were transported considerable distances down river ( seen here, the Congo ) by slave traders to be enslaved by Europeans .

african Captives Being Sent Into Enslavement

African Captives Being Sent Into Slavery
“ Tipo Tib ‘s Fresh Captives Being Sent Into Bondage – Witnessed by Stanley ” .
Library of Congress ( cph 3a29129 )
This engraving records part of Henry Morton Stanley ‘s journeys through Africa. Stanley besides hired porters from Tippu Tib, who was considered a “ king ” in the Zanzibar slave craft .

autochthonal Slave Traders Traveling From the Interior

Indigenous African Slavers Traveling From the Interior
“ voyage à louisiana Côte Occidentale d’Afrique ” by Louis Degrandpré, Paris 1801
autochthonal African slave traders from coastal regions would travel far into the inside to capture and enslave african people. They were broadly well armed, having obtained guns from european merchants. As seen in this image, captives were yoked with a double ramify and fixed in station with an iron bowling pin across the back of their necks. The slightest lug on the branch could choke the captive .

Cape Coast Castle, Gold Coast

Cape Coast Castle, Gold Coast
“ Thirty Different Drafts of Guinea ” by William Smith, London 1749
The Europeans built respective castles and forts, along the coast of West Africa, including Elmina and Cape Coast. These fortresses were the first permanent trade stations built by Europeans in Africa. For enslave people, these fortresses were the concluding catch before being loaded onto slave trade ships and crossing the Atlantic Ocean .

A Barracoon

A Barracoon holding enslaved African people.
“ Boy Travelers on the Congo ” by Thomas W Knox, New York 1871
Captives could be held in barracoons ( besides called “ slave sheds ” ) for several months while awaiting the arrival of european merchants. here, enslaved men, women, and children, are shown limp to roughly hewn logs ( on left ) or in stocks ( on right ), while a guard sits nearby ( far justly ). Enslaved people would besides be be fastened to the roof supports by ropes attached around their necks or interweaved into their hair .

Enslaved east african Woman

Female East African Slave
“ Africa and its Explorations as told by its Explorers ” by Mungo Park et al., London 1907 .
This persona depicts an enslave east african woman with a coffle rope around her neck .

young African Boys Captured for Slave Trade

Young African Boys Captured for Slave Trade
Harpers Weekly, 2 June 1860 .
Children were perceived as valuable by enslavers because of the expectation that they would live longer .

inspection of an enslave african Person

Inspection of an African Slave
“ captain Canot : Twenty Years of an african Slaver ” by Brantz Mayer ( ed. ), New York 1854
This engraving depicts an enslave african homo being inspected by a slave trader. It appeared in the detailed account of a former slave ship master, Theodore Canot .

Testing an enslave African Person For Sickness

Testing an African Slave For Sickness
“ Le department of commerce de l’Amerique par Marseille ”, engraving by Serge Daget, Paris 1725
This engraving depicts four scenes of enslavement, including enslave people at a public grocery store, being examined by an enslaver, and wearing an iron wrist shackle. In the middle scene, an enslaver licks fret from an enslave man ‘s chin to test for illness .

Diagram of the Slave Ship Brookes

Diagram of the Slave Ship Brookes
Library of Congress ( cph 3a44236 )
This exemplification shows deck plans and thwart sections of the british slave transport Brookes .

Plans of the Slave Ship Brookes

Plans of Slave Decks, Slave Ship Brookes
Library of Congress
This draw of the slave transport Brookes shows the plan for packing 482 captive people onto the decks. This detail thwart sectional draw was distributed by the Abolitionist Society in England as part of their campaign against the slave deal, and dates from 1789 .

Enslaved People on the Deck of the Wildfire

Slave Decks on the Slave Bark Wildfire
Library of Congress ( cph 3a42003 ) besides Harper ‘s Weekly, 2 June 1860
This engraving from 1860 depicts enslaved african people on the deck of the Wildfire. The ship was captured by the U.S. Navy as it had broken U.S. jurisprudence against the importing of enslave people from oversea .
The image shows a separation of sexes : african men crowded onto a lower pack of cards, african women on an amphetamine deck at the back .

Forced Exercise on a Trans-Atlantic Slave Ship

Exercising Slaves on a Trans-Atlantic Slave Ship
“ La France Maritime ” by Amédée Gréhan ( ed. ), Paris 1837
Enforced exercise was coarse on trans-Atlantic slave ships. Captives would be forced to “ dance ” by crew members holding whips .

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